Changes in Land Use and Cropping Pattern

P. M. Thomas

20.1 Introduction

The total land area in India, which amounts to 297 million hectares, constitutes only about 2.3 per cent of the total world land area. However, the country has 158.7 million hectares of arable land, which amounts to 11.2 per cent of the total cultivable land in the entire world. Indian agriculture sector supports 579.8 million people, which comes to 22.2 per cent of the global agrarian population. Out of the 1287.2 million economically active people, in the world’s agricultural sector, 258.6 million (20.1 per cent) belong to India.1 Again, the country is one of the leading producers of important crops like rice, wheat, coarse cereals, pulses, vegetables, oilseeds, jute, ...

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